What Golf Club to Use When in The Rough?

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In the beautiful game of golf, you’re able to equip a maximum of 14 clubs during a game. These clubs have to be wisely chosen to ensure you have the adequate tools for every game situation. However, a game scenario people struggle to select clubs for is when they’re in the rough. So, what golf club should you use when you’re in the rough?

When you’re positioned in the rough, there are four primary golf clubs that players use. These are an Iron, Hybrid, Fairway wood, or even a wedge. What golf club you use will highly depend on your playstyle and the overall condition of the rough you’re situated in.

After reading the above, you should know the four different golf clubs that can be used when you’re in the rough. Although it’s excellent to understand this, you can only put this in practice if you truly know which clubs are suited for what rough condition, etc. To find out more about just that, I recommend you read the below.

What golf club to use in the rough  

It can be challenging to understand which clubs you need when you undergo a game as a beginner. However, as you play more and get used to the vast amount of clubs you’re able to equip, it’ll become a lot easier.

Nonetheless, to gain a better insight into which golf clubs you should use when you’re in the rough, read below:


Iron is a popular golf club within the community as it can certainly get you out of a boatload of trouble. With irons, you’re able to select between eight different types. Here’s what they’re:

  • 2-iron = 105 to 210 yards.
  • 3-iron = 100 to 205 yards.
  • 4-iron = 90 to 190 yards.
  • 5-iron = 80 to 175 yards.
  • 6-iron = 70 to 165 yards.
  • 7-iron = 65 to 155 yards.
  • 8-iron = 60 to 145 yards.
  • 9-iron = 55 to 135 yards

The mentioned distances are “averages”, which depend on your skills, and experience, etc. With an iron, you can use this in thick rough, which may seem problematic with other clubs.


Next on the list is hybrid, and many golf players typically acquire more than one of these clubs in their chosen 14. As you can see from the name, they’re hybrids and can be used in many different locations because they are incredibly versatile.

However, although they’re built to be suitable for all situations, they usually work best for long distances. Because of this, if you’re located in the rough halfway down the course, one of the heavier clubs may be worth using.  

Fairway wood

Another great golf club you should keep in your bag or caddy is a fairway wood. These clubs are great for covering long distances, including when your ball is located in the rough. For a better understanding of how far fairway wood clubs can hit, see below:

  • 3-wood = 125 to 240 yards.
  • 4-wood = 110 to 220 yards.
  • 5-wood = 105 to 215 yards.
  • 7-wood = 90 to 170 yards.

Again, the above measurements are averages, and it depends on the end-users overall experience with the club.


Now, if you’re close to the green, you’ll want to choose a wedge. You’ll receive a high, yet slow flight, which provides you with maximum control. The only downside to using a wedge is that you can’t hit a ball very far. Saying that, you have an abundance of different clubs to choose from that’ll counteract that issue. Here are some wedges you should consider when in the rough near the green:

  • Gap wedge – Using this type of wedge will provide you with a longer trajectory than your typical wedge, and it’ll offer you height at a short distance.
  • Pitching wedge – This next wedge is similar to a gap wedge, but it’ll provide you with the ability to hit longer. Because of this, you’re able to use a pitching wedge from as far as 50 to 120 yards.
  • Lob wedge – Lastly, the lob wedge will typically be the highest-lofted wedge in your golf bag. This will be a solid option for shots between 35 and 90 yards.

As you can see, there are various clubs you can use when you’re in the rough. It goes without saying, this all comes down to personal preference and what experiences you’ve personally had. For instance, if you believe you perform better with a hybrid over a fairway wood when you’re stuck in the rough from 100+ yards away, it’s best to choose a hybrid.

How to hit from the rough

Now you understand the suggested clubs for clearing your ball out of the rough, let’s talk about the technique you should be using to ensure you’re efficiently hitting the ball. Wanting to know how to hit from the rough? Check this out:

Step 1: Positioning

Before swinging at the ball, you’ll want to consider your positioning. First, you’ll want to position the ball in the middle of your stance. When you’re standing over the ball, you’ll want to take an athletic position, or in other words, keeping your knees flat so you’re able to transfer your body weight smoothly through the swing.

Step 2: Distance

This sounds rather obvious, but it something that most definitely shouldn’t go missed. Before taking the shot, look up and see how far away you’re from the green. From this, you’ll be able to identify what golf clubs you’ll need to tackle the job. For instance, if you’re in the rough around 150 yards away, you may want to consider using a 6 or 7-iron instead of a lob wedge, etc.

Step 3: Step forward

Before making the initial swing, you may want to consider stepping two or three inches closer to the ball than you usually do. Doing this will allow you to create a more vertical swing pattern. This is ideal when you’re in the rough because you’ll sweep underneath the ball rather than get caught up in the rough terrain.

Step 4: Open up

When preparing the swing, you’ll want to open up your golf club’s face. That means instead of hitting the ball towards the target, you’ll want to aim slightly to the right or left, depending on which hand you play with. For right-handed golfers, you’ll want to strike your ball with the club’s face at an angle of about five degrees, vice versa for left-hand players. Performing a swing like this will reduce the chances of the rough slowing down the club’s impact.

Step 5: Hold on

As questionable as this next step sounds, it’s without a doubt worth considering if you want to execute a good swing in the rough. As suggested from the name “rough,” it means you’re positioned in a rough area that isn’t really taken care of. Because of this, it typically has long grass or weeds, etc.

However, it would help if you gripped your golf club much tighter than usual because as you swing the club, it’ll rapidly decrease in speed and power from the environment. To reduce this from occurring, you’ll want to grip your club much harder to promote speed throughout the swing.

Step 6: The swing

Once you’ve considered the above, the rest is pretty self-explanatory. This is because the swing itself is the same as any other swing. However, it would help if you tried to keep most of your weight on your leading foot. This will allow you to control the positioning of your club’s head through the strike and after the impact.

As you can see, striking your ball out of the rough is relatively easy. But you’ll need to consider practicing this type of game situation to improve your “rough” skills. This is pretty difficult to achieve at a golf range unless they have rough-like mats you can strike from. However, if you visit a golf course regularly, consider setting up some drills based around rough hitting.

What club is used for hitting short shots high?

When you want to perform a short yet high shot, you’ll want to use the right golf clubs to ensure this. Without a doubt, the best type of golf clubs to execute this type of shot are wedges. But, you should consider using the below when needing to do a short but high shot because there’s an abundance of different wedge types and angles.

  • Gap wedge – A gap wedge with a 52-degree loft and 8-degrees bounce is ideal, also known as a 52:8.
  • Sand wedge – Another great option is the sand wedge, and the best solution has a 56-degree loft and 12 degrees bounce, or noted as 56:12 on the club.
  • Lob wedge – Lastly, the trusty lob wedge. The adequate one to select is a 60-degree loft, and 4 degrees bounce or known as 60:04.

Tips on hitting high shots with a wedge  

Hitting high shots with a wedge can get you out of all types of situations. Due to this, it’s an essential skill to acquire as it can dramatically increase your golfing scores. If you want to execute this type of shot to perfection, you should consider the below tips:

Wedge section

The first thing you’ll want to consider before making your high shot is the wedge type. As mentioned, gap, sand, and lob wedges are ideal for generating high and short shots. However, which one is the best? Well, this depends on where you’re situated on the pitch. But, as a rule of thumb, you’re able to generate the most height from a lob wedge because of its angle.

A lob wedge at around 60 degrees can offer you a high flight. But wedge selection isn’t the only thing you’ll need to consider before undergoing this shot, and you’ll also want to think about ball positioning.

Ball positioning

If you want to dial in your wedge shot and optimize for height, you’ll want to consider this next step. Ball positioning is single handily the greatest yet simplest change you can make to enhance any golf shot.

Before making the shot, you’ll want to position the ball slightly back from the center of your stance. Once in this position, you’ll want to move your hand slightly in front of the ball. By doing this, you’ll swing in a backward shaft line which increases the overall height of the ball.

Including the above, when you come to perform the swing, you’ll need to balance yourself 40/60, meaning 40% of your body weight needs to be on your back leg and 60% on your leading leg.

Swing speed

If you want to get the most out of your wedge, you’ll need to consider slowing your swing speed down. From doing this, you’ll get a much more controlled and steady strike, which will be far more advantageous.

With a wedge, you’re able to strike a ball differently to receive many types of trajectories. Typically, the shorter striking length, the lower height you’ll receive on the ball. However, you may want to consider performing a longer striking length if you want to receive a high shot.

The best way to generate continuously high shots with a wedge is by creating a set of rules. These rules will take time and a lot of practice for you to start nailing them down. However, it’s more than worth implementing now to make your future high wedge shots much more manageable.

Typically, golfers will look at their swing like a clock, and their ball is six o’clock. Knowing this, you can start to judge how far you’ll pull back the swing. For example, you may need to perform a high shot over a 30 ft bunker, and to achieve this through your striking power, you’ll want to pull your swing back to 10 o’clock, etc.


As you can see from the above, there are various clubs you’re able to use to swing your ball out of the rough. Some are better than others in certain game situations, but it really comes down to personal preferences and experience.

After performing drills and experimenting with various clubs in a rough situation, you may come to find you execute these shots better with certain clubs. If that’s the case, stick with them and keep enhancing your skills.